I was never an ABBA fan at the time. I was persuaded they were too kitsch. (And I was getting into Bruckner then.) But I’ve grown to like them since; partly for their Swedishness: their unisex dressing, for example; and their ordinary decency, by comparison with most other pop artists, except perhaps for that boring old virgin (one imagines) Cliff. And ABBA’s songs are original, and far superior musically. I like their slow introductions, leading into memorable main tunes – ‘Waterloo…’ (A bit like Schubert.) – They used to write their songs, incidentally, in a sommarhus on an island very near to ours. I can hear the skärgård in them.
What a thrill it was this morning, then, to learn that they were coming back, after 40 years of silence, with a concert in London next May. So they must be in their 70s now? Here are the two tasters they pre-released yesterday (if it works). I think they’re terrific. But that’s probably the kitsch in me. At bottom I must be a sentimental old fart.